Optimisation of resources, skills and organisational capabilities in the BOP environment. Application of the "entrepreneurial bricolage" concept to the social enterprise 1001fontaines in Cambodia

Optimisation of resources, skills and organisational capabilities in the BOP environment. Application of the
Jacques Liouville | Guillaume Martin | Jean-Paul Méreaux

ESCP-7EMES-13 | Liouville, Martin & Méreaux 2019


Our research work revolves around the following question: is Resource-Based Theory (RBT) universal or contingent?

This research question aims to question the foundations of RBT which recently acquired the status of detautologised theory by exposing it to a particular field of application: the “Base Of the Pyramid” (BOP) market by seeking to categorise it based on its development since Prahalad and Hart’s (2002) inaugural proposal.

We begin with the observation that the major works on RBT follow a Darwinian type approach as defined by Fauchart and Gruber (2011).

We shall briefly cover the main founding documents of RBT, the successive stages which have enabled it to acquire the status of detautologised theory and we shall compile an initial list of RBT works which relate to the BOP environment.

With effectuation theory (Sarasvathy, 2001), we mobilise the concept of “entrepreneurial bricolage” developed by Baker and Nelson (2005), itself inspired by Lévi-Strauss (1967), to analyse how social entrepreneurs are thus able to “create from nothing” or with “what is to hand”, by mobilising capabilities and resources specific to this environment, a need, a product or a service and address it long term by adopting an approach with accessibility to the most underprivileged.

Our research system revolves around the case study of a social enterprise which has created a network of water kiosks in Cambodia in the “Bottom Of the Pyramid” (BOP) environment.

At this stage, our contribution makes it possible to highlight the lack of RBT work in the BOP environment and contribute to developing this new analysis framework while categorising it at the same time. We also believe that the concept of “entrepreneurial bricolage” may be part of the future development of RBT, and in particular in terms of individual and collective organisational aspects.


  • RBT
  • Entrepreneurial bricolage
  • Capabilities
  • BOP
  • Constrained environment

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